Procedural Animation – Week 1 – Character design

So we began by drawing different concept ideas for the character, and later discussed this with our online students of our group over a skype call. We shared different concepts and designs, eventually landed on one concept we agreed upon.

Our character was supposed to be made entirely out of goo, so the design we landed on was goo inside a broken teapot.

Edvard Teapot

The teapot was Art Director, Edvard’s idea, where this was the first concept of it.

We started planing out different move-sets for our character, how it would punch, jump, grapple, walk, run, block, taunt, etc.. As we were planing our Group Manager, Marcus, started writing down everything we said and made a refined list of how our character would fight and move.

Punch

The punch idea started out as a joke, but ended up becoming what we all wanted to use. Since the teapot consists of goo, it can take the shape of anything. So our idea was that when the character punches, it will form the shape of a giant human fist out of the nozzle of the teapot.

Teapot punch

Again the concept was made by Edvard.

Grapple

The online student Putle also had an idea he illustrated while we were chatting, and that was a grapple move. Where the teapot would use the goo from its nozzle and grab a Teabag that is laying inside of the pot. The goo would reach in from the top of the teapot and pull it out, then throwing it forward and pulling it back. The idea was that the teabag would be covered in sticky goo, so if it hits an enemy, the enemy would stick to the bag as our character pulls the enemy towards him.

The string of the teabag could be as long as we want it to be, so it wouldn’t have a super short range.

Putle drawing

Concept made by Putle.

Block

As for a blocking mechanic, we thought about either the teapot using the lid on the top of his head as a shield when blocking. Alternatively I mentioned he could shoot out goo in the shape of a shield absorbing anything coming his way.

Shield block

Concept made by Martin.

 

Potential issues we might face with this character is:

  • Too much work.
  • Way too many attack moves (Time schedule).
  • Difficult game mechanics.
  • Problematic to model and rig.
  • Problematic to animate.

 

However, I believe we can solve many of these issues by being realistic and cutting what we want to do and focus on what we have to do. Group manager Marcus decided it was better to have too many ideas instead of lacking ideas. Because that way we can cut away what we don’t have time to make.

Our Lead modeler Aleksander, is going to take on the job of modeling our teapot character, and will face the challenge of modeling and rigging it. However it is a fairly simple model, all we need to rig is the legs and head. The goo from the nozzle is something I will rig later in Maya.

Next up is Motion capture. Now we have a list ready for what we need to mocap.

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Rigging 2 (Part 3) finishing concept art

Update from the last post I made about the concept art for the assignment, I have made a more detailed silhouette and an orthographic view of the house. Additional edits have been made to the house. I really wanted to give the structure some damage from some explainable origin. My final thought was the timemachine itself. Every time the machine starts it emits a giant blue beam up from the roof. The scientist inside the structure did not calculate for the beam to completely blow off the top of the roof. So the building is damaged from the energy of the timemachine’s beam.

sheet-2-house-sketch-exploration

Detailed silhouettes.

 

sheet-3-house-model

Orthographic view.

Character Visulization

I came up with an idea as for how I wanted John Doe too look like.

John doe

I drew John Doe as a sort of Hippie like character considering his lust for peace, with his Peace Tshirt where it’s written under a quote from a famous Peace Fighter from his time and era. Of course as mentioned in the Character Creation sheet, John Doe was a war machine before his memory loss and ended up as a hippie. But he also has traits from his previous lifestyle as a war machine, the Peace Symbol can also be represented as a Nuclear Symbol, and he is wearing a military trench coat.

Finding inspiration for Animation

For this animation, I need inspiration and references for a bouncing ball.

So I’ve gathered 5 different youtube videos as my references when it both comes to momentum, the stretching, the impact when it hits the ground and realistic movement.

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3 (Made by a student)

Number 4 (Made by a student)

Number 5 (Made by a student)

After gathering all the references, I downloaded the planing sheet from Moodle, and put together a scenario of how I could see the ball go from point A to point B.

Planning Sheet-Recovered.png

I really want to focus on the momentum in this animation, of the ball just gaining more and more speed by hitting other objects. Despite how I want my animation to be realistic movement, I also want it to have it’s own identity, so with a tint of cartoonish airtime I think it will turn out pretty decent.

Until next time.